The Spinoff reviews A Moral Truth

<p><em>A Moral Truth </em>by James Hollings</p>

A Moral Truth by James Hollings

John Campbell on how investigative journalism helped create New Zealand

A Moral Truth is an outstanding collection: moving, enraging, illuminating, dispiriting, provocative. At times, it lays us out as if for an autopsy. In parts, it shames our past, and, by repetition, our present. This is not just a book for people who care about journalism, it is a book for people who care about us.

Arranged in chronological order, from 1863 to 2016, A Moral Truth contains 33 examples of what its editor, James Hollings, terms “investigative journalism”.

“Investigative” is a broad brush and, in his considered introduction, Hollings cites John Pilger’s belief (and I am paraphrasing both Hollings and Pilger here) that such journalism is not just about detective work, but also bears witness and holds power to account.

The importance of bearing witness echoes Hilda Rollett’s broad sense of description as advocacy: if we know, we will act. And if we know and we don’t act, our inaction is a form of complicity.


To read The Spinoff's full article here.